What do you know about Kumon???

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissFroggy, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 15, 2007

    I have a kid in my class who has been doing kumon for at least a year... and yesterday I had them do a math warm up, where they did about 20 addition problems, 20 subtraction and 20 multiplication. I wanted to see where they were at, so I can start them on the mad minutes. He was SO slow at it. His parents said he knew his facts, and it is apparent to me he doesn not know them very quickly- he was one of the last ones done. He has some other learning issues, and I am in the process of gathering information to have him assessed. Anyway, what does Kumon do?? How could a child do kumon for a year and a half, and not know his basic facts? He is a fourth grader. The problems were fairly easy. (single digit addition, subtraction from 18 or less, and multiplication facts under 49)

    Any ideas? Should I *tactfully* tell them they are wasting their money?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 15, 2007

    There is a kumon in the town where I work. Many of the Asian chilren go there. I think the math is basically drill, drill, drill...Keep in mind kumon is a commerical operation- they tend to tell the parents how much better their kid is doing with their program. Don't know how many problems they do at a time but isn't 60 problems a lot for a math warm up? If you already know he has some learning issues are you considering that he has some processing problems? time management issues? I wouldn't tell them that they are wasting their money per se, but would ask what kinds of drills he has been doing at kumon...
     
  4. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I don't know anything about them, but their little logo is a running joke in my family. Why does their "happy" face look so sad? Who thought that would be a good idea for a tutorial service? Whenever someone in my family looks confused, we say, "Oooh... are you Kumon?" *sigh*
     
  5. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    It wasn't really a warm up before math... it was what they did when they came in first thing in the morning, then we went into morning meeting. It was my first time doing the math this way, when the others finished they played math games for about 15 minutes. I looped with more than half my class and they did it in less than 5 minutes, but they mostly know their facts. I think my kids last year were doing 30 problems in a minute by the end of the year, so it didn't seem like it would be too much. I can see now that it was... regardless, if kumon is about math drills, don't you think he would have been faster? He was the second to last done- the other child came from another school last year, and she was the last done... I was just curious.

    Basically, it took 15-20 minutes to do the entire sheet... that's at least 5 minutes per section.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    We have several kids who go/went to Kumon. It is all about drill, but I don't know about speed. They go back to basics and start every kid on basic addition and go on from there. It takes a long while to see improvement, but I have seen improvement in computation among our students who used the program. If your student isn't doing well, perhaps it is because he is starting at a lower level than the others. Have you tested him untimed?
     
  7. Buttons

    Buttons Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2007

    Just because he is not doing them quickly does not me he does not know his facts. Some kids have slower processing time, some write slower, some become anxious during timed drils. Our province and school division is moving away from timed drills/tests.
     
  8. Buttons

    Buttons Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2007

    I just realized that that may have sounded judgmental.. it certainly wasn't meant that way! :(
     
  9. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Sep 15, 2007

    littleschool- you mention that he has some "other learning issues"... what are you seeing?
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    He has a general lack of focus and is SO slow in everything- not just work, but cleaning up, tailing the end of the line, putting his things away, etc. His writing skills are incredibly low- both in mechanics and spelling and all other aspects of writing, from planning, sequencing information, clarity, etc. He came to our school last year from a French immersion school and only wrote and read in that language, but has moved up several levels in reading, but is still not quite at grade level- but almost. (He worked with our reading specialist all year.) At the beginning of last year, he wasn't writing on his own at all, just copying. We are having a hard time figuring out what was due to the language, and what is his general learning style, etc. At his other school, they told the parents "he couldn't learn" which I find reprehensible! I can't imagine telling a parent that! BTW- he speaks English perfectly, has a good vocabulary, etc. His parents both speak English as well, and I believe he speaks both languages at home. In math he seems fairly competent, though does need more processing time. We haven't done much yet. I just thought that Kumon focused on memorizing math facts and getting them for speed. It surprised me that he took so long considering the work he had done at kumon.

    Also, I didn't time them. I was watching the clock generally, and looking at how they were doing, but I was more curious about why it took so much longer than the other kids. I have stopped doing time tests as well. When I was doing them, they were with a parent at home, or with a partner in class, not whole class. We would time to see how long they took, not trying to get done in x amount of time.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    So, he may just stay slower in all areas, it seems.
     
  12. jellokites

    jellokites Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2007

    Littleschool~ I am so happy you posted this. I found out one of my kids (from my open house vent) went to Kumon for 9 months. If he has been going.....he has a very difficult time adding and subtracting mulit-digit numbers.
    We have not done anything with Multiplication yet...but I can only imagine.

    Maybe Kumon is NOT that great!
     
  13. Buttons

    Buttons Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2007

    I had some kids in my room like this last year. He'll need a lot of your assistance and time, but it will be worth it. :3)
     
  14. Buttons

    Buttons Rookie

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    Maybe you could suggest a different tutoring program? One of my students had a retired teacher help him last year, and that really helped.
     
  15. niseixtenshi

    niseixtenshi Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2007

    My parents put me in Kumon when I was a kid. I hated it. It's all about repetitive problems. I sucked at math then..and I still am weak in math. Waste of money...indeed!!
     
  16. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Sep 16, 2007

    I have never heard of it in my life. This is interesting.
     
  17. shantroy

    shantroy Rookie

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    Sep 17, 2007

    I was in Kumon for 11 years started in grade 2 did it until I 3 weeks before I started university. I did both the math and english programs. I hated it! But it definately helped me. The repitation was what I needed. It doesn't work for everyone, but it was the best thing to happed to me. By the time I was in 5th grade I was doing multivariable algebra and to this day I can still beat anyone I know at a timed basic math test!
     
  18. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Sep 17, 2007

    OK, have to ask...what the heck is Kumon? Are we talking something like Sylvan?

    Google here I come...
     
  19. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    ok, never mind...i love google...but what is up with the sad little "smiley" face? He looks so lost, like a little puppy...is that supposed to be pre-Kumon?
     
  20. CityESLTeacher

    CityESLTeacher Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2007

    Kumon can be great (worked for me), but it doesn't work for everyone. Maybe he would benefit from extra help given in a different style.
     

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